The Sunshine State is finally living up to expectations as FC Tampa Bay got its first taste of the warmer weather to come at practice on Tuesday morning.
The practice consisted of a 5v5 small-field scrimmage. There were five teams of four players with goalies Daryl Sattler and Jeff Attinella as well as trialist keeper Sanel Boric taking turns in the nets. The scrimmage focused on short-game play, ball-control and finishing.
Head Coach Ricky Hill is looking to continue building FC Tampa Bay's fitness level and the team's method of ideal play. Hill ended Tuesday's training with an intense conditioning session in the 80 degree weather, sending groups of three players on long sprints that had to be completed in 40 seconds or less.
Forward Aaron King was looking forward to resting for the remainder of the day in lieu of continued fitness training at the Athlete's Compound at Saddlebrook Resort, which the team took part in on Monday.
"Coach gave us the rest of the day off," said King, "I think he sees that we have been putting in a lot of hard work this week at practice."
Jeremy Christie, still unable to play because of hip surgery, attended Saturday's game against Swedish first division team BK Hacken and said that FCTB maintained good possession of the ball and the defense was well-organized.
"We kept BK Hacken from creating too many opportunities," said Christie. "The guys played a good short passing game."
"I don't expect the players to move like robots. I expect a certain amount of fluidity. We are working on the basis of intensity so we can play quickly, smartly and safely." - Head Coach Ricky Hill on the team's ideal method of playing
"We have been creating more chances and scoring a lot more goals in practice. I think we are due to have a high-scoring game soon." - 2010 lead scorer Aaron King on the offensive opportunities
"Credit goes to everyone for the 86 minutes of play before they gave me the opportunity to the goal. The team put good pressure from the back to the front." – Trialist Matt Clare on scoring against BK Hacken Saturday